Public sector bank (PSB) employees have sought the Prime Minister's Office's (PMO) attention to their long-standing demand for pension update. The employees have renewed their demand that has been pending for long after the government's decision to clear the pension issues for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) earlier this year, the Economic Times reported.
There has been no updation in pension for PSB employees since 1996, union members alleged. They have been putting up their demands for a pension update as a part of their bipartite wage negotiations with the Indian Banks' Association (IBA), but it has always been rejected. The IBA, which is an association of Indian banks and financial institutions, has assessed the pension updation cost in PSBs at Rs 95,000 crore. It has said that the banks, which have been reeling under rising bad loans/Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), would not be able to take this load on them.
"We seek your help in resolving our pension issues. The basic fact is that pension scheme in PSBs is exactly the same as the RBI pension scheme, with similar rules and regulations," bank employees union flag bearers said in a letter addressed to Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to the PM.
At first, the government had refused to give in to the RBI employees' demand and had said that it would have a contingent effect, which would lead to similar demands from other public sector banks. According to the report, the financial burden of updating pension in the RBI is Rs 858 crore while the apex bank's pension corpus is around Rs 12,000 crore. Furthermore, the RBI pensioners are now entitled to receive a notional rise of 10% in their salaries plus dearness allowance with each of the three wage revisions in 2002, 2007 and 2012.
This would thus result in a total increase in basic pension by a factor of 3.63 for pensioners who retired before November 2002. The union members also told the news daily that the pension corpus of public sector banks stood at around Rs 17,1418 crore, which is 14.28 times of the RBI's pension corpus.